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The Responsibility of the Parent Company and Employees through Competition Legislation Amendments.

According to a recent emergency ordinance draft, competition legislation, specifically Law No. 21/1996, is set to undergo a series of changes as part of the process of transposing a European directive, the provisions of which were required to be incorporated into national legislation by 2021.

The draft emergency ordinance provides for the possibility of the Competition Council to sanction the parent company if a subsidiary violates competition provisions. Additionally, personal responsibility can be imposed on those who are part of the economic unit, specifically the employees, jointly with the other legal entities comprising it, for the payment of the imposed fine for the committed violation.

Regarding the evidence that can be used before the Competition Council, relevant evidence such as oral statements, electronic messages, recordings, and any other object containing information will be admissible, regardless of the form and type of medium on which the information is stored.
The draft emergency ordinance also includes a case of non-prosecution, either by not imposing a sanction or by reducing the penalty, for natural persons, current and former directors, administrators, and other staff members of the enterprise if they submit a request for immunity from fines to the Competition Council before being informed by the competent authorities about the procedures leading to sanctions, and on the condition that the individual in question actively cooperates with the competent authority.

Regarding the duration of the procedures conducted by the Competition Council, the draft provides that they will be carried out within a reasonable time frame, taking into account, according to the explanatory note of the project, the specific characteristics of each case, especially depending on the context, the conduct of the parties during the procedure, the importance of the case for different enterprises, and the degree of complexity.
Last but not least, to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market, the project in question includes provisions regarding mutual assistance between the Competition Council and the European Commission, as well as other competition authorities within the European Competition Network. In this regard, authorities may cooperate in terms of gathering evidence, notifying decisions, and executing sanctions when the targeted enterprises do not have a legal presence within the territory of the requesting authority.

We would like to emphasize that the emergency ordinance draft is not yet applicable, as it requires adoption by the Government and publication in the Official Gazette.

➡📞Contact: (+4) 031 426 0745 – office@grecupartners.ro

Elena-Alexandra Chiorescu – Attorney at Law

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